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BEFORE THE BELL: Protectionist threats and trade war fears weight global markets; US Toys ‘R’ Us looks to liquidate

Another round of protectionist threats in the US is renewing trade war fears once again globally. Reports say Trump is considering billions of dollars in tariffs against Chinese imports, which weighted tech and telecom sectors in the east and pushed the Nikkei down almost 1 per cent by the close. But, analysts say there may be nothing to fear as China’s booming economy will balance out any tariffs against its exported products.

This morning the price of oil is coming back from a Tuesday slump ahead of the US inventories update. Crude is up to 61.06. US retail spending data is expected to be released today as well.

Gold is down to 1,325 an ounce.

The Loonie is up slightly to 77.22 cents US.

The US branch of Toys ‘R’ Us could start liquidation as early as today. This would mean the half-a-century old company will start closing its 800 stores across the US. The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September due to overwhelming competition from online companies like Amazon. Canada’s Toys ‘R’ Us stores won’t be affected by the liquidation as officials say it’s business as usual this side of the border.

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